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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 August 2007, 19:02 GMT 20:02 UK
Bulgaria 0-1 Wales
Wayne Hennessey and Freddy Eastwood
Wales' heroes Hennessey and Eastwood celebrate victory
Freddy Eastwood marked his debut with a stunning goal to give Wales a notable victory in Wednesday's friendly with Bulgaria in Bourgas.

The Wolves striker unleashed a fierce 20-yard drive in first-half stoppage time after Bulgaria had dominated.

Wales were indebted to a superb display by young goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey, who saved a string of long-range shots.

Wales had a lucky escape in the final stages when Danny Gabbidon's sliced clearance hit the post.

Eastwood hardly put a foot wrong despite spending long periods up front on his own, and his low drive proved enough to inflict Bulgaria's first home defeat in more than two years.

The 23-year-old had been expected to be partnered by Robert Earnshaw, but Wales manager John Toshack sprung a major surprise in his starting line up by leaving the Derby striker on the bench.


Real Socieded-bound David Vaughan was given the task of playing just behind Eastwood in a 3-5-1-1 formation as Wales played their first match since Ryan Giggs' international retirement.

But despite packing the midfield, the Bulgarian midfielders found plenty of space and time in the opening half to spray their passes down both flanks as Wales looked all at sea.

Goalkeeper Hennessey made his first save of a busy half on 13 minutes from a fiercely struck Martin Petrov free-kick.

But Wales almost caught the home side cold on a counter-attack a minute later which ended with Gareth Bale's far-post downward header being well saved by Dimitar Ivankov.

Georgi Yovov then wasted a golden chance when he blasted over from inside the box after the Wales defence was caught on a quick break, and then Petrov fired another powerful free-kick over the bar.

Petrov was more accurate on 29 minutes when hooked a left-footed shot at goal, which Hennessey turned away for a corner.

Wales gradually came more into the game as the half drew to a close, with the best work coming down the left as Bale and Joe Ledley interchanged to good effect.

They struggled to keep possession to build any pressure, though, with Eastwood often left yards adrift of his team-mates up front.

Wales' Gareth Bale is challenged by Stanislas Angelov
Wales' Gareth Bale is challenged by Stanislas Angelov

But then with the half-time whistle approaching, the Wolves striker stunned the home crowd by unleashing an unstoppable left-footed shot to put Wales ahead against the run of play.

Little seemed on as Wales broke up another Bulgaria attack, but Eastwood had other ideas as he found space on the right flank.

As the home defence stood off, he pushed on and then cut inside at the edge of the box before firing into the bottom corner.

Toshack sent out four substitutes at the beginning of the second-half, with Steve Evans, Danny Collins, Mark Jones and debutant Neal Eardley replacing Sam Ricketts, Craig Morgan, Ledley and Bale.

But the Bulgarians almost equalised with their first attack as Hennessey brilliantly tipped over Velizar Dimitrov's deflected shot.

Petrov was again denied by the 20-year-old goalkeeper moments later as he parried another stinging shot.

The string of substitutions from both sides seemed to disrupted Bulgaria more as Wales came more into the game, finding room down the flanks to deliver dangerous crosses.

First Collins sent a header wide when he could have done better, and then Simon Davies almost connected to an Earnshaw cross - the striker having replaced Eastwood 10 minutes into the second half.

Hennessey then produced the save of the match to deny Dimitrov after the Wales defence was cut to pieces after one-two at the edge of the box.

The visitors enjoyed a huge slice of luck on 76 minutes when Gabbidon sliced his attempted clearance onto the post and saw the ball rebound to safety.

Petrov's personal dual with Hennessey continued as the home captain saw another long-range shot saved, Dimitrov also suffering the same fate as the game entered the final 10 minutes.

Bulgaria continue to strive for the equaliser, but Wales hung on without too much alarm to give Toshack possibly the best victory of his 22 games in charge.

Bulgaria: Ivankov, Kishishev (Yankov 52), Wagner (Zanev 54), Tomasic, Angelov, Stiliyan Petrov, Tunchev, Telkiyski (Popov 46), Yovov (Genkov 66), Chilikov (Dimitrov 46), Martin Petrov (capt).
Subs Not Used: Petkov, Iliev.

Booked: Popov.

Wales: Hennessey, Bale (Eardley 46), Gabbidon, Morgan (Evans 46), Nyatanga, Ricketts (Collins 46), Crofts, Davies (Nardiello 66), Ledley (Jones 46), Vaughan, Eastwood (Earnshaw 52).
Subs Not Used: Coyne, Price, Gunter.

Booked: Earnshaw, Gabbidon.

Goals: Eastwood 45.

Att: 15,000

Ref: Mechalis Germanakos (Greece).

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